First Comes Love(72)

By: Emily Goodwin

“Sometimes I don’t think I can make it another eight weeks.”

We stop at a scale. I step on, not even phased by the weight gain anymore. “You’re getting into the home stretch now.”

“Thank goodness.” After getting weighed, I go in to the bathroom, give a sample of pee in a cup, and join the nurse in the exam room. It’s nearing five o’clock on a Monday night. I’m pretty sure I have the last appointment before the office closes.

“How are you feeling?” the nurse asks.

“Uh, sore along with tired,” I say, downplaying how awful I’ve felt since Noah and I broke up. After getting his text Thursday after noon, I hadn’t heard from him. Colin let me know that Noah really was okay, but as the weekend came to a close, I wondered if he maybe he finally let go and is trying to move on.

“But it’s probably just normal,” I go on. “I worked this weekend and I usually don’t.” Now that I’ll be on my own, I need the extra money, and being busy keeps my mind off of Noah.

Father material or not, I miss him. The breakup might have been my doing, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt. Because it did.

Hell, it still does just as much as it did when he walked out that door.

As hard as I tried, I fell for Noah. And now I have to get over him, put my own heart behind my head and do what’s best for Ella.

And that’s not Noah Wilson.

I wanted a happily ever after, to find my Prince Charming and have him ride me off into the sunset. Real life doesn’t work that way.

“Where are you sore?”

“My back mostly. And I feel a lot of pressure in my pelvis, almost like she’s gonna fall out if I stand too long.”

The nurse enters my symptoms into the computer, and then grabs the doppler. Ella is moving around so much it’s hard to get a good read of her heartbeat. Little stinker.

Next, she gets out the blood pressure cuff. I smooth out the fabric of my long-sleeved T-shirt and extend my arm. I yawn again, feeling the dull headache that I’ve had for the last few days to come back. Too much stress does this to me. Dammit. I can’t take anything else for pain for another four hours.

The nurse takes my blood pressure, makes a face, then takes it again. I can tell by her expression something isn’t right. She puts the equipment away, smiles, and says the doc will be right in, just like normal.

But this isn’t normal.

“It’ll be okay, little girl.” I put my hands on my stomach, feeling scared. I wish Noah was here.

Only a minute later the doctor comes in. Yep, this is bad.

“Hi, Lauren,” Dr. Linn says. “How are you feeling?”

“I’m okay,” I say.

She pulls up my file on the computer. “Your blood pressure is high. Are you having any headaches or blurred vision?”

“I have a headache,” I tell her, nerves on fire. Is Ella okay?

“How long have you had it?”

“Uh, since like Thursday. But it’s been on and off.”

“Have you tried taking anything for it?”

I nod. “Tylenol. It helps for about an hour.”

She moves to me and motions for me to lay back so she can check Ella’s positioning. “Her head is down,” she tells me. “And she’s low. I bet you’re feeling lots of pressure.” She helps me sit up. “I’m going to send you over to the labor and delivery floor for blood work and monitoring, just to make sure baby is doing okay. Your blood pressure has gone up quite a bit since last time.”

I feel like throwing up.

“Are you able to go over there now?”

My head moves up and down. The OB office is attached to the hospital. It’s just a walk away.

“Okay then. I’ll have one of the nurses assist you.” She pats my hand. “We’re gonna take care of you and baby.” She leaves and a minute later a nurse comes in with a wheelchair. I tell her I can walk, but it’s a policy and I have to be pushed.

My heart is hammering as the nurse pushes me down the hall and into an elevator. I pull my phone from my leather purse and bring up my contacts. I need to call Mom and let her know, but I hesitate. There is someone else who deserves to know just as much, and I want him there with me more than anyone else.

I pull up Noah’s last text message and reread what he wrote.

Tears prick the corners of my eyes, heart hurting. I miss Noah so fucking much. What do I even say? I start typing, then delete what I wrote and try again.

Are you busy?

The elevator doors shut and we go up two floors. I stare at my phone, waiting for a reply. Only a minute later, Noah sends me a text.

Noah: I’m not. Are you okay?

Me: I don’t know yet. My blood pressure is high. Doctor is sending me to the hospital for monitoring. Can you meet me here? I’m scared.

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